Do you have bad spending habits as a college student?

Never spend more than you have while you’re attending college or university.  By not over spending you may avoid unwanted events and situations such as receiving telephone calls from collection agencies, credit card debt and bank overdraft charges.  Of course, when you never spend more than you have you can also have extra money to purchase items that are important to you and your success as a college student.

It’s easier to spend more than you have and get into debt as a college or university student than it might appear to be at first sight.  In fact, some college and university students amass more than $15,000 in debt with a combination of college student loans, credit card debt and other expenses like new or used cars, motorcycles, clothes and/or furniture.  This doesn’t have to happen to you. 

College and University Students Establish Wise Spending Habits

To avoid over spending:

  • Create a weekly or monthly budget that lists your income, mandatory expenses (e.g. car loan payments you must make) and optional expenses (e.g. restaurant expenses) you’d like to afford. 
  • Each week list the products and services you actually pay for.  Include meals you purchase at the college or university cafeteria. 
  • Ask other students to let you know about places where you can get school supplies, college textbooks, etc. at lower prices than you currently are getting the supplies.
  • Clip coupons out of store advertisements and newspapers.  Sunday newspaper issues tend to have more coupons than weekday issues.  If you shop on double coupon days, you can reap more savings.
  • Shop for school supplies and other products and services while they’re on sale.
  • Search for additional savings via online vendors.  You might be able to get 20 to 30 percent off if you purchase some products through online vendors.
  • Use debit cards at ATM machines that don’t charge fees.
  • Make it a habit to spend less money than you receive each month.
  • Deposit additional money that you have each month into an interest bearing checking or savings account.

Also, make decisions on whether or not you’re going to attend social events like going out to eat based on your personal financial goals and your budget.  Steer clear of deciding whether to attend events based on how much your classmates and friends encourage you to attend these functions.  It’s also important that you be honest with yourself regarding your finances.  Don’t tell yourself that you have money you don’t have.  Focusing on the fact that debts and spending habits you create now may impact how much money you have after you graduate can help you to make wise spending decisions.

Furthermore, personal spending habits that you develop while you’re in college or university may follow you throughout your life.  If you create a workable budget, follow the budget and steer clear of debt, regardless of how tempting sales and credit card ads may be, you may find that you have money left over each week, money you can place in interest bearing bank accounts and start growing your savings.

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